That Takes Ovaries


 When women, like the women writing their stories in That Takes Ovaries, take a conscious part in the crux of their own nature - menses, they will naturally model a stronger, wiser more intelligent example of living.  The powerfully civilizing dictate of “know thyself” still applies, and the realizations women have are bound to be their own, and genuinely feminine.

Conscious Menstruation and its ability to empower women through self actualization and individuation puts the revolutionary center of the new era smack dab in the middle of women.  As the psychological barriers to our own genuine feminine values dissolve in the face of personal freedom and rights, women will revolutionize society from the inside out.  It won’t be a bloodless revolution because women bleed monthly.  It will however, probably be done without blood shed towards others in the name of some political cause or religious dictate.     

Willy Nelson wrote a song professing that inside every cowboy is a woman waiting to slip out; and that inside every woman is a cowboy waiting to come out.  I don’t think he is referring to gay and lesbian men and women, so much as the basic universal principles of male and female that comprise the very core of our human nature.  I believe he is recommending the potential for a balance between masculine and feminine values by finding them inside ourselves.

After re-reading That Takes Ovaries I had exactly the same reaction as the first time I read it.  How can such a small book, a simple compilation of essays about interesting women and their actions, throw me so out of my usual track?  Because I recognize my peers in these women, triumphing over their limitations.  They set examples for others.  They inspire me.

The emotions their stories cause rise up like a full moon tide and re-arrange my normal pattern of thinking.  My focus on the mundane shifts to a more universal perspective, washing over my accumulated mental hubris to reveal the glaring discrepancies of injustice, the abhorrent murders and mutilations that women continue to suffer today – this very day, in staggering numbers.

By practicing CM: conscious menstruation, I know that I am improved by immersing myself into the force of my emotional upwelling.  I center myself and endure the tsunami of thoughts and feelings that swirl and surge through me.  

I’ve done it all my life when confronted with outrageous behavior, wether I've seen it on TV, watched it in movies, heard it from family and friends, or witnessed and survived it personally.  I have come to depend on what I know now to be one of my greatest strengths – my capacity for endurance.  Truly one of the most misunderstood feminine attributes; endurance has been overlooked.

As profound a saving grace as a drink of water in a desert, a gun in hand, or a shot of penicillin – endurance of the feminine kind is unparalleled and unrecognized for its true value to humanity.  

Without any fanfare or reward women have survived since time began, by nature of this very feminine characteristic - endurance.  This sounds ridiculously simplistic.  Men will dismiss this as nonsense saying that “might makes right”.  Since endurance takes strength - it obviously falls into the “male value” category.  Women themselves take it for granted.  When it is actually a cultivatable attribute that never fails or disappoints when activated.  Without it no one would be here – at least no one that is human.

Witness the atrocity of honor killings, the sex slave trade on an international level, the domestic abuse and incest on a localized level.  We are  still coming out of an era even darker than the repression of the Middle Ages.  Human beings are traversing new territory, we are moving out of linear thinking into a more feminine perspective.  I am speaking of people evolving – as human beings into a consciousness of more empathy and light by intelligent concern for each other and the planet.

I think the human race is coming along nicely.  Especially since women can now vote, own land and gain economic autonomy – at least in some countries.  These parameters of civility and prosperity are valued by both men and women and are a huge improvement over: no voice, no safe haven and no income.  A condition, which is, the reality of many human beings on this planet today.

Human evolution has made great strides and as women discover their voices we will see more leaps forward into healthy governments and economies all over the world.  I had the sudden realization that civilization could spread as easily as disease spreads and in a similar manner: from person to person.  In fact that is the basis for the propagation of civilization: one person at a time gaining a vote, living in safety and earning a livelihood.  Add that up and you have a very healthy society.

Women are the world’s most civilizing force.  By nature of their femininity they bring forth new people, nurse and nurture them through childhood, teach them the rules and release them into the world as beginner adults; with love.

Even in sex slave brothels, mud huts, city ghettos and infested jungles women bear children by choice or force; and raise them with love.  Even brutalized women love their babies as best they can.  It’s an inherent natural force that keeps us from having to create “people” in test tubes, and having to pay people to take them home and love them like pets.

Oh dear, I’ve shifted off into an even more lugubrious non-linear thinking episode of mind travel!  How unprofessional and yet, how pleasant.  I love “connecting the dots” in my mind.  It’s one of my favorite pass times.  It produces a sense of “me”, my connectedness to others and my place in it all.  Considering how isolated I am from other women in the world, by my job and home, the two main spheres of my daily experience, connecting the dots this way gives me a sense of community.

Since we don’t pound the laundry at the river together anymore, cut up the kill; honor and celebrate each other when we get our periods and become women anymore; it’s the best I can come up with to remember who I am – a woman in a world of women; a very privileged and powerful woman at that.  Look at me with my own business, my own money, my own thoughts, my own computer, my own car, my own husband and kids and home!  Yes, I am a leader in this world and my voice is important to those women who aspire to live like I do – very important.  They need to know about lives like mine so they have hope.  They need to know that we know about them so they may move in our direction far enough for us to reach them and grab their hands and hearts and pull them forward into a better life – into civilization.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not promoting materialism or selling cars or computers.  Would I like to wash the family clothes on rocks in cold running water?  No, but I would like to be more in the company of other women because I miss them.  Its part of the price we pay for individuation and self actualization.  I’m sure it is temporary and can be alleviated by determining to spend time with other women in new ways.  Maybe I will create a few of those ways myself?  Like this website.

After listening to a short excerpt of an interview with Amy Richards and Jennifer Bumgardner I realize I am in great company.  I am not known as a feminist or an activist.  I apply my intelligence to furthering the awakening and strengthening of genuine feminine values as best I can.  I founded a sorority based on conscious menses – the crux of femininity, the CM Sorority is found at  I articulate my own ideas of truth, upholding my honest opinions in conversations with my husband, children, family, friends and co-workers.  In short, I know who I am: a woman who thinks for herself and speaks her mind.

The female values inherent in each of us have lain dormant while human beings developed linear thinking.  It's taken over 10,000 years, but the consciousness of genuine feminine values are stirring now in all of us; especially during our periods.  Pay attention and you will see it happening to you too.

Conscious Menstruation empowers women.  The resulting self actualization and individuation puts the revolutionary center of the new era smack dab in the middle of women.  As the psychological barriers to our own genuine feminine values dissolve in the face of personal freedom and rights, women will revolutionize society from the inside out.  It won’t be a bloodless revolution - women bleed monthly.  It will be done without killing others in the name of some political cause or religious dictate.  Women consciously menstruating will change our world to a more humane environment.  I promise.  It will take ovaries!

Lynne Haines